The Beautiful Ones -- 35 Inspiring Women  
By Susan L. Taylor  in ESSENCE Magazine
"Underneath A Brooklyn Moon" Starring
JC Hopkins Biggish Band Featuring
Queen Esther      -            Debuts August 9, 2005
"Dreamgirls" From Broadway to Hollywood
Eddie Murphy To Join
Jamie Foxx and
Beyonce  In the Cast of the Upcoming Film
By: J C Lee
July 25, 2005 - A loosely tethered concept
"Underneath a Brooklyn Moon"
tells a story of a young couple who move to
Brooklyn, NY to make love and music.

Tigerlily Records is set to release
‘Underneath A Brooklyn Moon’ the debut
album by the fourteen piece JC Hopkins
Biggish Band on August 9.  
Queen Esther
and JC Hopkins
July 25, 2005 "Dreamgirls" is a  screen version of the late
director Michael Bennett' s Tony Award winning musical that
first ran on Broadway in the early 1980s starring
Devine, Jennifer Holliday and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

The movie follows the rise of a trio of women who form a
group called The Dreamettes in the 1960s.

Murphy will play James "Thunder" Early, a singer for whom
the Dreamettes sing back up before taking over the spotlight

Dreamworks has announced that the film is to be directed by
Bill Condon and is scheduled to begin production early 2006.
Hopkins leads the band and wrote or co-wrote nine of the
album’s ten tunes featuring the vocals of
Queen Esther, plus a
deeply pedigreed group of supporting players that includes
Patience Higgins (Savion Glover, Bobby Short) on tenor sax,
Warren Smith (Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis,
Charles Mingus) on vibes, Lewis “Flip” Barnes (William Parker,
Burnt Sugar) on trumpet and vocals, and Vincent Chancey (Sun
Ra Arkestra, Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy) on French horn,
among others.

Outstanding tracks include the Hopkins penned title song and
the bebop blue 'Small Town' with Lewis “Flip” Barnes joining
Queen Esther in a good-natured vocal duet; James Zollar is
the trumpet soloist, and 'Someday'  a gentle song of comfort
and hope from the edge of the mainstream
Beauty!  It’s more than skin-deep it’s uncommon grace and
confidence a light that shines through the eyes and smile.  It’s not
what you look like it’s what you project.

The remarkable women we present here—
Angela Bassett, Mo’
Nique, Iman, Alicia Keys and Fantasia Barrino—exemplify the
ways Essence has defined what it means to be a beautiful Black
woman: spirited and spiritual, loving herself and our history, our
culture, our Blackness.

Witness the rich variety of women whose beauty mirrors the depth
of your own. — Susan L. Taylor, ESSENCE Editorial Director
Crime & Punishment
17 arrested in Federal Medical Pot Crackdown
By: Suzanne Douglass
July 25, 2005
- Federal drug agents launched a wide ranging
crackdown on medical marijuana providers in northern
California arresting at least 17 people in San Francisco and

Agents searched three pot clubs and more than 20 homes
and businesses Wednesday, authorities said.

No doubt prompted by the
U.S. Supreme Court’s medical
marijuana ruling last month.

The high court said federal law prohibiting the sale and
distribution of narcotics supersedes state medical
marijuana laws.

California is one of 10 states that allow the use of marijuana
for medicinal purposes.

Marijuana (for medicinal purposes)
was legal in a few states
in the United States until last month.  Any attempt to hold
them as serious criminals would have been inappropriate.  

Those arrested are charged with violating the old marijuana
laws, which are now back in effect.
Atlanta Inagural Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the "1965 Voting Rights Act"
By: Gatsby Melodi'
Cathy Cox, Secretary of State for the State of
Georgia and Honorable John Lewis (D) United
States Congressman were the guest speakers
and they each talked about voting challenges
facing Blacks before 1965.

"They'd come up with questions few persons
white or black could readily respond to like -
Name all the federal judges" Cathy Cox stated.

Congressman Lewis stated, "40 years ago you
had to get a white person to vouch for you to
register to vote. Today we have a new meaning
of courage with dignity."
Johnnie Primes
(l) United States Congressman - Honorable John Lewis
and (r) Jared McKinley his personal assistant
"Fear Factor is what this exhibit
reminds me of. Not just for
Blacks but also for merchants,
businessmen and the railroad.
That era was frightening at night
for everybody." Johnnie Primes
told me..

Also on hand lending support
was Dr. Christine King Farris,
PHd, Spellman College (the only
sister of Martin Luther King, Jr).
August 12, 2005 - In recognition of the 40th
Anniversary of the "Voting Rights Act of 1965",
Atlanta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. National
Historic Site opened an original exhibit
chronicling the journey of African Americans
toward guaranteed enfranchisement.

Admission is FREE to the exhibition located at
the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic
Site, Visitor Center, 450 Auburn Avenue,
Atlanta, (404) 331-5190 or visit www.nps.

“Of Ballots Uncast: The African-American
Struggle for the Right to Vote”
on display
through March 7, 2006, calls attention to the
obstacles African Americans faced while
fighting to secure voting rights assurances as
U.S. citizens.
"Looking at this
exhibit reminds me
of the Selma to
is what
they called it", Betty
Wright told me.. "I
was on the Selma
Bridge that day
John Lewis lead
ABC Family Scores Big With Reality Show  
"Venus and Serena For Real"
Ratings Sky Rocket & Brings Attention to the
Station Williams Sisters Pleased & Excited
By: Howard Stein
Betty Wright, an elementary
school principal in Atlanta.
us.  I was in junior high school. We kept
hearing that failure was not an option even
when they chased us with bats, threw tear gas
bombs at us and screamed 'Jump in the river
Nigger'. We were kids and did not understand
the struggle. Andrew Young, Dr. King and
Stockley Carmichael were there." said Mrs.
July 25, 2005 - For the next 5
Wednesday's at 10 PM on cable
station ABC Family watch as
cameras follow the sisters both
on and off the court to show
fans what
Venus and Serena
Williams lives are really like on
"Venus and Serena: For Real,"
the sisters' new reality show
that debuted July 20, and is
getting rave reviews.
Legal and extralegal
hindrances; such as poll taxes,
gerrymandering, lynching and
blatant intimidation; created
hostile environments that
prevented African Americans
from exercising the
constitutional right to vote
afforded them through the 15th
Amendment ratified in 1870.
Dr. Christine King Farris. PHd
and her personal assistant  
Yvonne Hodge.
"It is great to be here and witness
history.  It  goes to show the
tremendous milestones
necessary to make
Councilman Ivory Young said.
Venus Williams (25 )and
Serena Williams (23)
Dr. Farris is Head of Spellman
College Department of
Education Teacher Training and
Learning Residence Center.
The sisters are not after shock value. There will be no
cursing or cat fights.  Venus and Serena want to show the
world what they are really like and how hard they work off the
court to become the champions they are on the court.

The sisters realize they are role models which is why they
say that they chose ABC Family to air their show.

Venus Williams, 25, says: "Our show's all about the grind.
The grind of having to be on top of our games. The grind of
keeping up with everything that we do: charity work, awards
shows and of course, practice and family.

Serena, 23, says the series is a "family project".  "It's not just
myself and Venus," she said. "It turns out you get to learn a
lot about my older sisters, like Isha and Lyndrea, and my
mom and my dad. And you get to see the dynamic
relationship that all of us have, so it's really cool."
The nearly 100-year-long campaign would
yield a succession culminating with President
Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the
Rights Act
on August 6, 1965.
Alexsis Scott, Publisher
Atlanta Daily World and
Ivory Young, Atlanta City
Council District #3
Award Winning Author Terry McMillan Might
Have Lost Her Groove When She Found Out
that Her Hubby Was on the
Down Low -  She Is
Now On Tour Promoting Her New Book
By: J.C. Lee
Chrysler Financial Presents FREE
Vickie Winans’ Rising Star Tour - Supports
Financial Education and Empowerment
Aug 12, 2005 - Chrysler Financial
presents the
Vickie Winans
Rising Star Tour that kicked off
at The State Theatre in Detroit
on July 28 and will continue
across the country, performing
in major cities such as
Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago,
Philadelphia, Orlando, Houston,
Dallas and Los Angeles.
August 12, 2005 - Terry McMillan,
whose best-seller novel about a
blissful relationship between a
woman and a younger man and
reflecting her own fantasy
marriage to a man 23 years her
junior - came to an end
after finding out he was on
the “Down Low.”
Will Begin an Exclusive Engagement at NY
City's Film Forum in New York City on August
17, 2005 Followed by Additional Engagements
Around the Country
Terry McMillian
The tour is FREE and aims to educate people about their
personal finances and endorse the belief that education leads
to personal and spiritual empowerment.

“As one of the world’s largest financial services companies,
Chrysler Financial has implemented several financial
education initiatives to empower citizens to become more
savvy about their personal finances,” said William F. Jones Jr.,
Vice President -- Chrysler Financial.  “
Vickie is the right artist
and her tour is a terrific vehicle for us to get the word out
concerning the absolute importance of financial literacy and

In conjunction with the tour, Chrysler Financial and Vickie
Winans will be holding a talent search to find America’s best
new gospel artists.  Ten contestants will be selected in each
city to move to the quarterfinals, with only five artists moving to
the semifinals.   The five semifinalists will then perform at the
Vickie Winans’ show in each city, where one winner will be
selected.  Winners from each city will then travel to the grand
finale show in Detroit in November and compete for a prize
package including a recording contract with Destiny Joy
Records and a two-year lease on a 2006 Chrysler 300C.

Visit for audition material
deadlines, requirements and contest rules. or by calling toll-
free at 1-866-428-9849.

Aug 12 DC; Aug 26 ATL; Sept 8 Chicago; Sept 10 Phila; Sept
15 Orlando; Sept 22 Dallas; Sept 23 Houston; Sept 30 Los
Angeles; Nov 4 Detroit.
McMillan says she feels that her money and fame have
worked against her.

The divorce filings were kept quiet until The San Francisco
Chronicle published an article saying the 53-year-old author
decided to untie the knot after Jonathan Plummer, 30, told
her just before Christmas that he was gay.

She alleges that Plummer, whom she met in the resort
community of Negril, Jamaica, only married her to become
a U.S. citizen and that he is now seeking to nullify a
prenuptial agreement and get his hands on her fortune.

“It’s a major affront and a major attack to use me, my image
and my dignity when he is the wrongdoer here,” McMillian

While she is still admittedly angry, McMillan says she will
never allow a man to keep her down for long. She has
proceeded with her book tour as scheduled.

Her book,
“The Interruption of Everything” seems
remarkably prescient as it deals with a woman on the verge
of menopause trying to find herself while everything is
falling apart around her.

McMillan jokingly adds "My next book title will be 'Hunky Dory
Everything’s Okay'."
THINKFilm has acquired the
North American rights to
distribute Keith Beauchamp's
groundbreaking film,
Emmett and his mother,
Mamie Till Mobley (who died
in 2003)
The 1955 Mississippi murder of Emmett Louis Till, an
African-American teenager, was a major spark in America's
civil rights movement, and Beauchamp's 10-year effort to
uncover the rest of this nightmarish story has led to a
national effort to investigate new evidence and witnesses
surrounding the murder.  

The film will begin an exclusive engagement at NY City's
Film Forum in New York City on August 17, followed by
additional engagements around the country in the Fall to
coincide with the 50th anniversary of Till's murder, including
a major push to church communities in the south.

The brutal slaying of Till in Money, Mississippi in 1955 was
followed by a sham trial that helped spark America's civil
rights movement. For allegedly whistling at a white woman
in public, young Till was tortured, beaten beyond
recognition, and thrown into the Tallahatchie River.  

Beauchamp has reconstructed the case and found that
responsibility for the murder extends beyond the two good
ol'boys who were acquitted by an all-white jury.  
Two Days of Quintessential Jazz in Orange, NJ
3rd Annual Jazz Festival - Oskar Schindler
Performing Arts Center - On the mountain top
at Crystal Lake  - September 10th & 11th  
FREE    (But asking $5 donation)
Cable Television Station VH1 Is the Best Place to Spend
Sunday Evening With 3 Hit Reality Shows Back to Back
By: Howard Stein
August 23, 2005 - Laugh or Cry out loud, but you will
be filled with emotion every week.
9 PM - Season Five of The Surreal Life takes a
wildly mismatched group of celebrities and sticks
them in a twisted sociological lab experiment in
communal living sharing  bathrooms, bedrooms,
chores, and their private lives, all in front of the
ever-present cameras. Cast this season includes
Omarosa, Janice Dickinson,  Jose Canseco.
Sandra (Salt N' Pepper) Denton  
From the chart topping album
"grown & sexy"...BABYFACE the legend
returns..."grown & sexy" enters Top 10 on Top
200 Albums Chart -- Now the Single Drops
Aug 29, 2005 West Orange, New Jersey –
The Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center
(OSPAC)  will present an entire weekend of
world class jazz entertainment in an open
air setting complete with international food
vendors, artisans and crafts on display,  
entertainment and activities for children at
the 3rd Annual Jazz Festival to be held on
New York, NY Aug 30, 2005 - Making
his highest chart debut since 1996
with 'The Day'
Kenny "Babyface"
latest Arista Records
'grown & sexy' enters the
Soundscan Top 200 Albums Chart at
#10 with over 56,000 units scanned.
Jose Canseco
Joe Lovano
Sep 10th & 11th starting at 12:30 PM at the spectacular
OSPAC Amphitheater at Crystal Lake, 4 Boland Drive, West

Performers include Joe Lovano Quintet featuring Renee
Rosnes; OSPAC All Stars featuring Matt King,
Dave Stryker,
Ed Howard, Ed Palermo; Dave Samuels and the
Caribbean Jazz Project; Richie Cole and the Alto Madness
Orchestra; and many more.

“OSPAC is considered New Jersey’s premier outdoor
theater and we are proud of the great performances, like
the Jazz Festival that take place here,” says Mayor John F.
McKeon, “I encourage everyone to come out to OSPAC and
enjoy the beautiful surroundings at Crystal Lake and the
season’s signature event.”  For more information on this
please visit or call 973-669-7385.
10 PM - Celebrity Fit Club2 is back with eight
overweight celebrities competing in two
teams of four to lose weight. The celebrities
attend 'Fit Camp' where they take part in a
range of physical and motivational activities
designed to shed the pounds, increase
team spirit and rivalry, and win prizes. Cast
includes; Tocarra,
Jackee Harry, Gary Busey,
Victoria Jackson.
Debuted at #3 on R&B #13 on Digital Album Chart.  The
song is written by Babyface and Daryl Simmons.
grown & sexy
"Call-out Hook"
Duration 13 seconds
Brooke, Hulk, Nick and Linda
Blue Note Records Re-Issues Classic Jazz
Albums On CD  - All Are Everlasting Love
9:30 PM - Hogan Knows Best - After 25
years on the road wrestling, Hulk has
always had an outlet for his energy and
aggression by body-slamming people
nightly. Now that he's home, he's bored
and antsy -- and driving his family nuts
at the International Jazz Festival in
Comblain-La-Tour, Belgium before a
crowd of 20,000, the Adderley sextet with
brother Nat, Yusef Lateef, Joe Zawinul,
Sam Jones and Louis Hayes is an
incredible tour-de-force highlighted by amazing versions
Jimmy Heath’s “Gemini” and Nat Adderley’s “Work
Song”, mastered in 24-bit for greatly improved sound.
"THE BIG BANG" Live On-Stage at the Horizon
Theatre In Atlanta Is Laugh Out Loud Slap High
Five Somebody Funny     Thru November 19, 2005
By: Gatsby Melodi'
The Donald has coined “You're fired” and Martha
Stewart is considering , "It's all about the fit" or "You
just don’t fit in" on Her Apprentice Show
Earl Klugh- Living Inside Your Love -
was recorded in NY. The groove that Will
Lee and Steve Gadd lay down is
decidedly stronger, but no less subtle
than on Earl Klugh. Much of the success
Seats are not assigned in this theatre
so try to get an aisle seat with your
back facing the entrance.  I point this
out because there is champagne and
Hors D’oeuvres passed out to a few
at the beginning of the play and sitting
in this locale could please your pallet.

This has got to be one of the funniest
live theatrical shows I have seen in a
very long time.  
George Contini' is
hilarious and so is
Dolph Amick.  
They each have their strengths and
so it is not
August 31, 2005 - In an interview last week, the
domestic diva Martha Stewart refused to reveal
her catchphrase on her ‘Apprentice’ parting

“The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” debuts
September 21 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
of this album is the pocket they create for tunes like
“Captain Caribe” and “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.”
RONNIE LAWS -"Every Generation",using
his own band plus siblings Hubert and
Eloise Laws and guests Larry Dunn, Joe
Sample and Patrice Rushen.
However, she did announce that the show's theme song will be
“Sweet Dreams Are Made of This” by the Eurythmics. Look for
daughter Alexis Stewart  as
Stewart’s “eyes and ears”.
(l-r) George Contini
and Dolph Amick
Feature-Length Film Biography of  BOB
DYLAN to Premiere On PBS’s American
Masters Series Sept 26-27 / in UK On BBC’
s Arena Series  Sept  26

In an event that has brought together Bob Dylan and
Martin Scorsese, "No Direction Home: BOB DYLAN",
a production of Spitfire Pictures, Grey Water Park
Productions, Thirteen/WNET New York and Sikelia
Productions, in co-production with Vulcan Productions,
BBC and NHK, will make its U.S. broadcast premiere
on Thirteen/WNET’s award-winning
series Monday and Tuesday, September 26-
27 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

Part One will also premiere on September 26 in the
UK, on the BBC’s counterpart, the internationally
prestigious series ARENA.  This will be a historic
collaboration between the world’s two principal public

The two-part film focuses on the singer-songwriter’s
life and music from 1961-66 and includes never-seen
performance footage and interviews with artists and
musicians whose lives intertwined with Dylan’s during
that time.

Paramount Home Entertainment will also release a
DVD version of the documentary with extensive,
additional, never-before-seen footage on
Sept 20th.

Apple will present the DVD and international version of
corporate underwriter of the PBS broadcast.
difficult to write that one actor is not better than the other in this
production.  I will say that because I did not want to distract
from the performance that I had to stuff my hand in my mouth
during the Nerefetti scene with George wearing that
lampshade on his head, he just killed me and I could not stop  
laughing, but then neither could the man sitting behind me, or
the woman three rows over.

It is just Dolph and George on stage for the two-act production
along with Bryan Mercer on keyboards.  
Horizon Theatre
Company presentation of "The Big Bang" is so funny that even
when it appears that the actors have flubbed - it really doesn't
matter because everything is so hilarious.  

The actors carefully listen to the audience so even when we
did not stop laughing those two wacky fellas would interject
humor at the crowd with ad libs generating more laughter.  It
was just a really fun evening of skits director Clint Thornton
told me at the after party was tinged with Carol Burnett in mind.

Originally produced on the New York stage by Eric Krebs and
Nancy Nagel Gibbs at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre
in 1999,
"The Big Bang" runs through November 19, 2005 at
the Horizon Theatre.
Sarah McLachlan in "BLOOM" -  Second Remix
Album Arriving in Stores on September 6th on
Arista Records - She Provides Insight
By: Gatsby Melodi'
"I own my insecurities I try to own my destiny that I
can make or break it if I choose"  
Bloom remix
album available in stores September 6th.

Birth, death, tragedy and joy; the six years  since the
release of Sarah McLachlan's last studio album Surfacing have
been both defining and redefining, not just in the world's recent
history but also in Sarah's own life.

Since 1997's Surfacing, Sarah lost her mother to cancer and had a
baby.  "Such a huge transition...first, losing my mother, then five
months later giving birth to India (her daughter). It's still all a blur to
me -- it has less to do with the album tracks and more to do with my
recent state of mind."

First created on piano, some of Sarah's favored moments seem
destined to be beloved by fans as well. "'
Answer' (8th track) is one
of my favorites", she admits, smiling broadly. "It's a total 'two o'clock
in the morning, whispered in your ears' headphone track."

"That's always been my thing, feeling the very essence of a song. I
have to be able to break it down and still feel its strength acoustically
on piano or guitar. If the essence is strong, you can do whatever you
want with it, it'll still be good."

"Music saved my life; having that one thing that I knew I was good at
made all the difference."
Four Major Jazz Organists and Masters of the
Hammond B-3 Sound Will Perform FREE Concert
in Newark, NJ - October 23 3PM to 8PM  Doors
open at 2-Organist Jimmy McGriff To Be Honored
Presented by the Newark Department of  Neighborhood and
Recreational Services, Division of Recreation/ Cultural Affairs
and media sponsor WBGO Jazz 88.3FM

Organ legends
Jimmy McGriff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Trudy Pitts,
and Gene Ludwig will be 'jammin' on the Hammond B-3 Organ
at the African American Education and Cultural Resource
Center, 15-19 James Street (corner of Washington Street) from
3 to 8p.m.

Top musicians including tenor saxophonists David "Fathead"
Newman, Houston Person, guitarists Bob DeVos and Vinnie
Corrao, and drummer Don Williams join them.

Musical Director, guitarist Bob DeVos said "This concert is a gift
to the people of Newark and to all who love the jazz organ.
Speaking for all of the musicians, we are honored to join with
the city to pay tribute to organist Jimmy McGriff."  For more
information call (973) 733-6454 and listen for news and related
interviews on WBGO Jazz88.3FM this fall.
One of The Most Beloved Films of All-Time Embarks
on a New Journey When "TITANIC" Sets Sail as Two
New DVD Editions in October 2005

The sweeping romance and human drama of James Cameron's
OSCAR®-winning epic film
TITANIC will be released worldwide as
two new DVD editions this October, it was announced by Cameron
together with
Paramount Home Entertainment and Twentieth
Century Fox Home Entertainment International.  
TITANIC DVD will be available as both a 2-disc special edition
and 4-disc collector's edition, each filled with new bonus materials.

The 2-disc special edition will include a branching feature, enabling
fans to view a wide selection of never-before-seen footage.  The
4-disc collector's edition will be the ultimate for film and DVD
enthusiasts - containing numerous deleted scenes, new in-depth
documentaries that explore the odyssey of the making of the film and
much more.  

TITANIC will be presented in a brand new high definition transfer,
16x9 anamorphic edition, with 6.1 Dolby Digital Audio offering the
highest level of picture and sound quality on DVD.

James Cameron commented:  "The three year process of making
TITANIC seemed at times as arduous as the building of the original
ship itself.  Until recently, I wasn't really ready to dive back into it all
and re-live the conflicts, disappointments, tough choices and,
ultimately, the film's crazy, unexpected success.  This special edition
is more than just the hour or so of unseen footage.  We're taking fans
on an untold journey, one which could have ended just as
disastrously as Titanic's maiden voyage, often seemed as if it would."
WAYMAN TISDALE Reaches Back to the
70's Delivering an Old School Feel &
Balanced Mix of R&B In "Hang Time"
HANG TIME offers 12 songs in which
Tisdale's bass takes the lead over a
distinctive sound from his
instrument.  "I feel like I'm a melodic
vocalist on the bass. I try to make it
sound more like a singer", Tisdale
Whether delivering familiar or original material
Tisdale truly takes the melodic lead on McFadden
Whitehead's 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now' and
Smokey Robinson's seminal 'Crusin'.  

"I'm stuck in that 70's type of groove. I feel like it's my
duty to keep the old-schoolers in the loop", the 1984
Olympic Gold medalist in basketball, Tisdale says
about those two songs with a smile.

Other noteworthy tracks include 'Better Days', "Sax
and bass really work well together when they're
playing the same melodies", he adds, and the
closing track 'Glory, Glory' spotlighting the vocals of
his daughter Danielle.

HANG TIME  his debut for Rendezvous
Entertainment HANG, Tisdale garners high profile. "I
was born to entertain whether on the stage or
playing basketball. I just love people and
enterainment.  Both are in line with my personality."
Full Of Love and Romance SARAH DELEO Has A
Pretty Voice and Distinctive Delivery "The
Nearness of You" Jazzie CD Street Date Oct 1
"The Nearness of You" from SARAH
, is an up close and personal look
at a talented young vocalist who brings
her own personality and perspective to
classics from the Great American
DeLeo begins the date with a bossa nova feel to 'If I Had You',
a song she first heard on a J
udy Garland recording from the
thirties. Brian Charette's piano accompaniment gives the
music a Brazilian feel, reminiscent of Sergio Mendes Brazil 66.

Peggy Lee's 'It's A Good Day' (the CD'd strongest cut) proves
to be a perfect vehicle for DeLeo's sweet, full-bodied voice and
nuanced phrasing. She gently swings the song to a jazz waltz
transforming the feeling of cheerfulness.

The title track
'The Nearness of You' starts off with her tender
heartfelt reading of the song's seldom heard verse - 'I'm in a
dither dear when you're at a distance.'

Another noteworthy track is 'Blackbird', she gives it a new
treatment by singing it over beats she says she heard from an
Erykah Badu album.
Keyboardist/Singer Joe McBride Is Definitely On a
Roll With "TEXAS HOLD 'EM" Set For Release on
September 27 - He says he's really excited!
Put Your Dance Shoes On and Polish Up Your Feel
Good Skills Cause BONA FIDE Is Get'n Busy in the
"Soul Lounge" Street Date September 27th
BONA FIDE continues to redefine the
contemporary jazz landscape with
their debut album on Heads Up
, set for worldwide release on
September 27th.  Conceived and recorded
with very few creative restrictions,
expands the genre of contemporary
With his first new disc in three years, the
versatile pianist/singer raises the stakes and
comes into his own as a composer and
performer, backed again by the Texas Rhythm
Club, Joe McBride's winning streak continues
with an album full of bluesy pop hooks and
contemporary jazz licks.
jazz-meets-chill music with an inspired collection of all original

Since their arrival on the contemporary jazz scene in the late '90s,
Bona Fide has rapidly established themselves as leaders in the
hottest musical movement in years, delivering a sexy and
sophisticated style known by many names: chill, down-tempo,

Call it what you will, the Bona Fide sound, forged by bassist Tim
(Slim Man) Camponeschi, saxophonist Kevin Levi, keyboardist
George Hazelrigg, drummer John E. Coale and percussionist
Howard Zizzi, is characterized by compelling riffs and tight
grooves that are paradoxically retro and edgy at the same time.

"This is by far the best CD Bona Fide has ever recorded," says
Camponeschi, founder of the five-piece collective. "This is the
kind of music that I can't wait to play for friends. I didn't edit myself
when I started writing. Everything just started coming out. There
are some funky three-minute guitar and piano tunes mixed in with
a 12-minute chill tune. The band just let it flow in the studio."

Standout tracks include "Girard's", 'B More Knights' 'Bona Fide
Club', and 'Bromo Tower". Check BONAD FIDE out right now at
"As I get older it's more of a challenge to find new ideas to get
excited about,  but I am grateful that I continue to discover them",
Joe McBride says. "The excitement is coming
into the studio with original demos and watching them undergo a
metamorphosis.  I react with my guys and move the tunes into other
directions. If it's easy you're not growing.  I am always searching."

Joe McBride has written 10 of the albums 11 tracks on the Heads
Up label, and while all the cuts on
"Texas Hold 'Em" are potential
radio favorites, it is the track "Giving It All To You" showcasing
McBride's formidable vocals that is the strongest standout cut,
followed by other favorites 'No Limit', 'The River', 'Big Stick' and  'All

Born 1963 in Fulton, Missouri, McBride began playing piano at the
age of four and started singing in high school.  As a teenager he
contracted a degenerative eye disease that caused him to be
completely blind.  Yet as evidenced by his latest effort
"Texas  Hold
his passion for and ability to deliver great music is not

"My band is
killin' I've played with these guys for over a decade",
says McBride about
Texas Rhythm Club featuring Wayne DeLano,
sax; Dave Von Blohn, flugelhorn and trumpet; Larry Spencer, muted
trumpet; Todd Parsnow, guitar; Martin Walters, electric bass and
guitar; John Adams, upright bass; and Dennis Durick, drums.
CASSANDRA WILSON Returns to New York
Blue Note For the Second Consecutive Year
to Sing In the New Year
It’s a week-long party when Cassandra & Her
Band – Brandon Ross (Guitar), Reginald
Veal (Bass), Gregoire Maret (Harmonica),
Jeffrey Haynes (Drums) and Marvin Sewell
(Guitar) get together December 27 – 30 and
January 1 at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. nightly.
Tickets are $55 at tables; $35 at the bar.
The party heats up on December 31 when the opening act, solo
guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart, joins in on the fun.  New Year’s
Eve shows are set for 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ($85 at tables; $55 at the
bar) and 10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. ($125 at tables; $85 at the bar).
New Year’s Eve show prices include champagne toast, hats &
noisemakers.  An a la carte menu will be available; gratuity not
included. Seating at tables is first-come-first-seated; seating at
the bar is limited and not guaranteed. Only pre-purchased tickets
are available on New Year’s Eve.

Wilson stands out front in the list of today's great jazz vocalists. A
jazz singer for a new generation, her distinctive and daring style
has earned her world-wide recognition, chart-topping albums, a
Grammy and countless other accolades.

Don’t be surprised if you hear her renditions of songs by Muddy
Waters, Bob Dylan, Sting,
Abbey Lincoln or Willie Nelson mixed in
with some of her own compelling material.

Known as a “musician’s musician,”
Alvin Youngblood Hart's
praises have been sung by everyone from Ben Harper to Eric
Clapton and Mick Taylor.

Since his 1996 debut recording, the all-acoustic "Big Mama's
Door," he has carried his musical message the world over as a
solo artist and with his Mighty Muscle Theory band. He has
received the prestigious W. C. Handy Award for Best New Artist,
two Living Blues Awards, Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll Award
for Best Blues Album, a Grammy nomination and other kudos.

The Blue Note is located at 131 West Third Street in Greenwich
Village. For more information, call (212) 475-8592 or visit